THE TECHNOLOGY - Scaffold Alarms


David Dando, the founder of UBX, invented the “Scaffold Intruder Alarm System” in 1989. Following extensive prototype trials the UBX (Unique Band X) microwave technology was established. The technology and methodology were granted full International Patents in 1995 and with continuous innovation it has become the world’s most advanced outdoor intruder prevention system for scaffolding.

The inventor, David Dando, proprietor of the Intellectual Property Rights and the UBX registered trademark, granted licences to his three companies, “UBX Security PLC”, a subsidiary of “UBX Holdings Ltd” in London and “UBX Security Inc. of America” in Washington, D.C. UBX Patents: see Intrusion Sensing Systems:


In 1989, following the greater use of scaffold for health and safety reasons, there was an increase in crime as intruders utilised the scaffold to break into buildings at a higher level to avoid the ground floor security. Midland Bank branches (now HSBC), clad in scaffold were suffering attacks and robberies. In 1990 the very first Scaffold Intruder Alarm System was installed to a Midland Bank by UBX, and a brand new industry sector, known as ‘Scaffold Alarms’, was created within the construction Industry. The Scaffold Alarm industry continues today throughout Europe and America, worth an estimated £45 million per year.

Scaffolding, which has been used since the 5th Century BC, was introduced by UBX to 20th Century electronic technology.


The new UBX Scaffold Intruder Alarm technology was initially appointed by affluent and high net worth individuals with substantial assets and personal safety to protect.  For example, the properties of Baroness Thatcher, Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Sir Ridley Scott, Freddie Mercury, Keith Richards and Eric Clapton, were all protected by the invention. The list also includes the “At Risk” private residences of high ranking military personnel, cabinet ministers, ambassadors and members of the judiciary. The technology was adopted by Historic Royal Palaces, Historic Buildings (National Trust and English Heritage), Government and Local Authority buildings throughout the UK.

UBX Scaffold Alarms Systems were independently trialled (2 years) and fully approved by BT, HSBC and RBS to meet their approved security specifications.  In excess of 5200 bank projects and over 375 major BT projects have been successfully completed. The UBX 419 system complies to the ‘Enhanced System’ in Codes of Practice NSI NCP115 and SSAIB SS2006. However, the UBX System is augmented to meet the Banks and BT specifications.


The invention works using the UBX (Unique band X) controlled microwave ‘FAZOR’ system. This produces an electromagnetic energy shield, variable up to 200 metres long. This invisible energy always detects a human intruder climbing up the outside or the inside of the scaffold structure. The unique system is NOT activated by:-

  • pedestrians or vehicles at ground level,
  • birds or animals at higher level,
  • scaffold netting or plastic sheeting,
  • vibration, sunlight or any adverse weather conditions.

The UBX ‘FAZOR ‘ energy shield remains stable at all times, hence zero false alarms.

The climbing intruder is always detected by the UBX energy shield due to the full detection pattern uniquely covering the outside and inside of the scaffold structure. When climbing a scaffold or a scaffold ladder, the human intruder cannot alter their body shape (cannot lay down or crawl) and therefore the sophisticated energy shield they climb through always identifies them. 


Upon detection of an intruder, the Scaffold Alarm’s main function is to deter the intruder not to climb up but to leave the scaffold. The system can react in a number of ways. It can:-

  • sound a voice alert message stating, “Please leave the scaffold, you are committing an offence and in serious breach of Health and Safety regulations,”
  • trigger an alarm siren to alert people nearby, deter the intruder from climbing and to leave the scaffold,
  • trigger scaffold floodlights to alert people nearby and to deter the intruder,
  • transmit the alarm signal and CCTV live visual verification pictures to an NSI Gold approved Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC),
  • transmit the alarm signals to nearby Police and Council street CCTV unit who will watch and record the incident and alert the Police,
  • transmit the alarm signals and CCTV live visual verification pictures to any smartphone (usually main contractor’s site Manager). 

Should the intruder not leave the scaffold, their movements are tracked and recorded by the alarm and the CCTV visual verification pictures. All events are displayed and recorded live at the ARC. The ARC will summon the nominated authorities, private security, keyholders etc.

The entire system is automatically reset following an event and all events are retained as evidence for the Police, Insurance and Main Contractor.

UBX 2019 Technology
  • UBX Fazor Energy Field Triple Technology (Unique Band X) controlled Smart microwave, pulse count PIR, active IR (wirefree)
  • CCTV security camera wirefree visual verification via pictures and video streaming to ARC and client controlled smartphone.
  • GSM/GPRS SIM using a patented roaming algorithm to select strongest network (multi-network, frequency-hopping) 4G, SMS.
  • IP/GPRS/LTE communicator, network connectivity online site diagnostics. Independently verified to meet insurance approval.
  • Accredited NSI Gold approved Alarm receiving Centre (ARC) providing nationwide 24 hour monitoring of Intruder Alarms and CCTV systems
Check your Scaffold Alarm!!      IMPORTANT FACTS TO KNOW …………
  • A number of Scaffold Alarms do not conform to any written approved specification and have fundamental design faults. (These faults can be viewed and photographed from the street below the scaffold).
  • A number of Scaffold Alarms are not purpose built for scaffolding to the guidelines of NASC, HSE and Insurance Companies. Generally they are made up from off-the-shelf components, not designed or suitable for scaffolding, cable-tied into position, offering minimum security cover.
  • For example the intruder detectors are mounted inside the scaffold structure which immediately allows an intruder to climb past undetected up the outside.
  • Most scaffolds are climbed from the ground upward on the outside in order to climb past or onto the first boarded platform (1st lift).
  • As most Scaffolder Contractors will confirm, they can climb past the back of the intruder detector (undetected) if the detectors are inside the scaffold structure.
  • This situation is made worse if the installer provides only active infra-red (AIR) beam detectors.  These can be identified as two black perspex tubes, secured inside scaffold structure. Between these black tubes is a slim detection pattern in the form of pencil diameter active infra-red beams. If the intruder breaks these beams an alarm is created. The problem is, when the black detectors are placed either end of the scaffold, the very small beam dection path between them becomes obviouse. This allows the intruder to easily climb up past the beam undetected, or to climb up next to the building windows completely undetected.
  • A slight misalignment of these AIR beams causes nuisance (faulse) alarms.
  • Off-the-shelf systems when activated do not automatically reset , leaving the siren box strobe light flashing. Thus indicating to the professional intruder that the system is not armed. This can continue until the site next opens, leaving the scaffold totally unprotected.

Q 1.  Does your Scaffold Alarm detection pattern cover the inside and outsides of the scaffolding?…………… Answer: ‘YES’ from UBX.

Q 2.  Does your Scaffold Alarm offer triple technology detection, in the form of smart controlled microwave, passive infra-red and active infra-red, to always detect a climbing intruder and to be free from false alarms?…………… Answer: ‘YES’ from UBX.

Q 3.  Does your Scaffold Alarm incorporate CCTV live visual verification pictures transmitting an intruder activation?…………… Answer: ‘YES’ from UBX.

Q 4.   Are your Scaffold Alarm detectors and CCTV wirefree (battery operated),  to allow the wirefree control panel and signal communicator (battery or mains) to be mounted inside the building/site office or outside on the scaffolding?…………… Answer: ‘YES’ from UBX.

Q 5.   Is your Scaffold Alarm System totally wirefree and designed to give continuous cover to the front, sides and rear of a large building, allowing for the phasing of installing and dismantling of scaffold, without disruption of the security?…………… Answer: ‘YES’ from UBX.

Q 6.  Does your Scaffold Alarm comply to a written, insurance approved specification?…………… Answer: ‘YES’ from UBX.

Q 7.  Does your Scaffold Alarm transmit all alarm events and CCTV to an NSI Gold approved Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) and / or to a smartphone?…………… Answer: ‘YES’ from UBX.

Q 8.  Does your Scaffold Alarm transmit the alarm signals to nearby Police and Council CCTV who will alert the Police?…………… Answer: ‘YES’ from UBX.

Q 9.  Does your Scaffold Alarm continue to track and record CCTV visual verification pictures and summon nominated authorities?…………… Answer: ‘YES’ from UBX.

Q 10.  Does your Scaffold Alarm automatically reset following an event and retain all events as evidence for Police, insurance and main contractor?…………… Answer: ‘YES‘ from UBX.

Q 11.  Does your Scaffold Alarm provide CSCS fully trained installation engineers able to monitor 24/7 all engineering signals, allowing online site diagnostics?…………… Answer: ‘YES’ from UBX.

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